Domestic violence and abuse

Part of: Protecting people from violence and abuse

Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse

In September 2013, the Home Secretary commissioned us to conduct an inspection on the police response to domestic abuse. We were asked to report on:

  • the effectiveness of the police approach to domestic violence and abuse, focusing on the outcomes for victims and whether risks to victims of domestic violence and abuse are well managed;
  • lessons learnt from how the police approach domestic violence and abuse; and
  • recommendations about these findings, when considered alongside current practice.

To answer these questions, we inspected all the 43 Home Office-funded police forces in England and Wales. We interviewed senior and operational leads and held focus groups with frontline staff and partners. We carried out visits to police stations (which were unannounced) to test the reality of each force’s approach with frontline officers. We also collected data and reviewed files.

We spoke to 70 victims of domestic abuse who took part in focus groups throughout England and Wales (and other victims in one-to-one interviews). We surveyed over 500 victims online. We also surveyed nearly 200 professionals working with victims of domestic abuse.

Our report, ‘Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse’, found that, overall, the police response to victims of domestic abuse is not good enough and forces need to take decisive action to rectify this. You can download the national report below, along with individual reports for each police force.

Get the reports

Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse

Four forces were revisited: Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The revisit reports for Gloucestershire and Greater Manchester are published alongside the original reports, via the link below. At the time of the initial inspection report in March 2014, Bedfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary had already been subject to a reinspection.

Increasingly everyone’s business: A progress report on the police response to domestic abuse

Between June and August 2015, as part of its PEEL: Effectiveness inspection programme, we visited every police force in England and Wales to assess the progress they had made since we published ‘Everyone’s business’.

The findings from this inspection are published in the national thematic report, Increasingly everyone’s business. This shows that the police service has acted on the messages of Everyone’s business, and now sees tackling domestic abuse as an important priority. This is resulting in better support for and protection of victims. However, we found there are still areas for improvement in the way the police respond to, support and protect domestic abuse victims. We make a series of recommendations to make sure that the momentum for change showed so far continues at pace.

Get the report

Increasingly everyone’s business: A progress report on the police response to domestic abuse

A progress report on the police response to domestic abuse

As part of our 2016 PEEL effectiveness inspection, we assessed all 43 Home Office-funded forces in England and Wales on the improvements made in their approach to domestic abuse.

We reviewed the findings of our 2014 and 2015 inspections, and assessed the progress that forces had made on implementing their action plans.

Most of this year’s inspection was devoted to carrying out ‘reality testing’ in forces. This process involved our inspection teams making unannounced visits to departments in police forces, including the:

  • control room;
  • intelligence and response teams;
  • investigation units;
  • domestic abuse specialist teams; and
  • victim support arrangements.

Our inspection teams were supplemented by experts in the field of domestic abuse. These included public protection specialists from police forces and domestic abuse practitioners from voluntary and community sector organisations.

Get the report

A progress report on the police response to domestic abuse

If you are, or someone you know is, a victim of domestic abuse or violence, find out how to report domestic abuse and where to get help.

Please note: In July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Inspections carried out before July 2017 may continue to refer to HMIC.